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Sen. John Albers Introduces Max Gruver Act

Last week, Sen. John Albers (R – Roswell), introduced Senate Bill 423 in the Senate. SB 423, also known as the “Max Gruver Act,” is designed to reduce and prevent hazing at Georgia’s colleges and universities. 

“Unfortunately, some hazing rituals at colleges and universities across the country have caused injuries or even deaths,” said Sen. Albers. “One such victim was Max Gruver, a Roswell native who passed away following a ritual who this bill is named after to honor his legacy. Max’s parents, Steve and Rae Ann Gruver have dedicated their lives to keeping others safe and I am honored to work with them on this important legislation.  This bill is designed to bring an end to harmful hazing by requiring the Georgia Department of Education (DOE), the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and each private college or university in the state to establish plans for raiding hazing awareness and to produce annual reports on hazing activity on their campuses. Additionally, this bill establishes criminal penalties for anyone who carries out a hazing ritual on any minor or student. With legislation like Senate Bill 423 in place, we are sending a strong message that hazing will not be tolerated in our state.”

Senate Bill 423 would make it illegal for any person to haze a student as a condition to gain acceptance into a school organization. The bill provides an updated definition of the term “hazing” and establishes penalties of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature punishable with up to 12 months incarceration or a fine of $5,000, or both, for anyone found to engage in hazing. If a hazing incident led to death or serious bodily injury, the penalties would be escalated to a felony punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment, a fine of up to $25,000, or both. Finally, the bills establishes standards and reporting requirements for the Georgia DOE, the Board of Regents, TCSG and private post-secondary institutions for hazing incidents that take place on their campuses.

For more information on Senate Bill 423, follow this link: http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20192020/SB/423

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Sen. John Albers serves as Chairman of the Public Safety Committee.  He represents the 56th Senate District which includes portions of North Fulton and Cherokee counties. He may be reached at his office at 404.463.8055 or by email at john.albers@senate.ga.gov.